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Stockton To Malone - Aaron Needs Good Role Models
Earlier this basketball season Aaron and I got nosebleed tickets to see the Oklahome Thunder come to town to play the Utah Jazz. It was fun to watch the Jazz pummel the Thunder, but it was even more enjoyable getting to the arena early and spending some time with Aaron.
Taking the pictures of Aaron wearing shorts in the cold freezing rain is a classic reminder of Aaron’s 9th grade year. If you can’t see his lower legs, then Aaron must be going to church. Otherwise, Aaron wears shorts to nearly everything. That’s right, whether it is shoveling snow, running to school, or going to any non-formal activity, then you can bet that Aaron will be doing everything possible to wear shorts.
While at the Jazz game it was fun trying to explain to Aaron the importnace of John Stockton and Karl Malone on modern day basketball. He was just a bit too young to really remember their impact. So instead of trying to take him back in time I used the modern Jazz team as an example. Teamwork verses superstar ball, that is the key to the old Jazz as well as the new Jazz success. Aaron loves Dwight Howard, and it is hard to prop up Dwight until he makes something of the incredible situation he finds himself in right now with the Lakers. Will Dwight thrive? Or will he crash and burn with Kobe? Compare that to the current Jazz team which is a bunch of nobodies. They are good, but the new Jazz are lacking the quiet and steady leadership of a John Stockton. Stockton made everybody on his team better. If you were open then he got you the pass for the easy bucket. His talent made Karl Malone a superstar. And together they dominated as a team amidst a league filled with selfish ballplayers.
Aaron loves playing basketball and he needs good role models. I love listening to Charles Barkley, but he is a self-pronounced non-role model. I love Magic and Michael, but their off court lifestyles left a lot to be desired. And then there is the more recent Kobe Bryant, but he also blew it off the court. These great on the court players just lead me back to the two bronze statues positioned out in front of the Energy Solutions Center of John Stockton and Karl Malone. They worked hard on and off the court to improve their games and to raise their families. They played in nearly every game of their careers, and they gave os 20 plus years of great basketball to enjoy here in Utah.
Aaron has developed into a stellar young man with great values. He displays the best of sportsmanship, whether winning or losing. He is also a great team mate as he helps to lift the spirits and the intensity of all those he plays with. He is also growing tall. He finally surpassed Haily and now Adam, and with size 13 feet he has his eyes set on raching and passing me by. If any of our kids can do it, then it will be Aaron, and if he doesn’t, then he can blame Shelly for slowing his genes down. Regardless of where Aaron tops out physically, spiritually he is a great young man.